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Helicopter Blender

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— The sound effect when Sweet Bro is on the receiving end of this trope.

The hero is being chased by some Mooks in a helicopter. He's probably on a car or motorbike (rarely running). The baddies are shooting automatic weapons at him, but they've of course attended the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. But wait, the hero has just gotten himself into a wide open space with no exit! He's trapped!

The helicopter first comes to a low altitude, and you may think the baddies would just open fire en masse and rain hot lead all over the place because, hey, there's only so many bullets a hero can dodge. But no, that'd be too easy.

Instead, the helicopter first hovers right above ground, then tilts forward at a very steep angle. It then proceeds to slowly move forward, its rotor becoming a deadly, razor-sharp weapon that slices and dices everything it touches. All sorts of objects, people, even vehicles are thrown aside and shredded to pieces by the Helicopter Blender.

The hero seems doomed, but at the last moment, he always finds a way out (bonus points if it involves jumping over the helicopter).

Other variants:

  • The helicopter is just hovering in midair, not doing anything much, and someone falls off a cliff, railing or other flying vehicle, gets chopped up by the blades and ends up as a red mess on the canopy. The helicopter invariably keeps hovering in place, its pilot(s) deeply disgusted by the new shade they're seeing the world through but otherwise fearing no consequence.
  • The helicopter itself breaks up, but the still-spinning rotor is used to deal damage to someone.
  • Before the helicopter takes off, or after it has landed, a person can be pushed into the spinning rotors.

Trying this in real life, is, of course, very, very ill-advised. Helicopter blades are quite fragile - or at least, fragile if slamming themselves against something very hard. Even birds damage blades. Thus, any helicopter pilot who tries this may well succeed in killing both themselves and their target, most especially if airborne.

Transforming Mecha with a helicopter as a secondary mode (and Combining Mecha with a helicopter as a component) often have these as a weapon, but it can be assumed that their blades are specifically designed with said use in mind.

Subtrope of Deadly Rotary Fan. Compare Turbine Blender. See also Hellish Copter.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • GaoGaiGar: Big Volfogg's Murasame Sword attack uses the blades of the Gungrue, a transforming helicopter, as a spinning sword attack.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam justifies this with humongous mecha equipped with beam rotors. That is to say, their blades were effectively lightsabers, so chopping things up with them would be rather easy. (Actually flying, however, we're not so sure about.)
    • In the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray: Red Frame short, Lowe attaches the head of a BuCUE to Red Frame's arm so he can use the double-ended beam saber in its "mouth". He then rigs it to spin, creating much the same effect as a Beam Rotor. May or may not have been a Shout-Out, given that the upgrade was a one-shot with a shorter lifespan than most of the Red Frame's.

    Comic Books 
  • A character is gorily shredded by an out of control helicopter in Final Destination: Spring Break.
  • In Friday the 13th Special, a helicopter tries shoot the undead killer Jason Voorhees, but he manages to drop it by long-distance killing its pilot. The vehicle falls on a tree, and soon takes out the remaining person after Jason by going to ground for good and slicing her to pieces with its still-spinning blades along the way.
  • In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) Annual #4, a Cobra B.A.T. disguised as Cobra Commander tried to escape from a captured Mamba helicopter in flight, smashing through the canopy only to be diced up by the blades.
    • "Snake-Eyes: The Origin" (issues 26-27): Snake-Eyes's face was burned when he was hit with the explosion caused by the helicopter he was on board being struck by the blades of another helicopter.

    Fan Works 
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Seto Kaiba falls victim to this when he does an overly dramatic pose from his helicopter with his index finger pointed high.
    Kaiba: Don't forget to register and pick up your Duel Disks, because exactly one week from tod— [slice] —AAH! MY FINGER! IT CAME CLEAN OFF! SOMEONE CALL AN AMBULANCE! Mokuba, can't you fly this helicopter properly?
    Mokuba: Sorry, bro.

    Film — Animation 
  • The flying saucers ("Velocipods") that Syndrome's minions used in The Incredibles were apparently designed with this trope in mind. The craft fly by means of a spinning metal disc — a cross between helicopter rotors and a sawblade — around the edge. The rotor is capable of tilting (for keeping the craft upright while turning, and for trying to slice trespassers to bits) and strong enough to cut through a palm tree without sustaining notable damage.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 28 Weeks Later also has an awesome use of this against an army of infected, truly earning the pilot his badass credentials. To clarify, the pilot had to fly with the blades spinning, angled downwards and at a height of fewer than 2 meters off the ground. He does it, survives, kills a heap of zombies and flies off into the sunset, leaving dozens of mangled, twitching corpses in his wake.
  • Completely averted in Arabesque, where the Hero defeats the Big Bad, by dropping a ladder on his helicopter, completely shattering the rotor, and causing the aircraft to fall.
  • The hero threatens to do this to a suspect in the film Basic. The story is about former Army Ranger Tom Hardy being asked by his old friend who's still in the military to investigate what happened during a training exercise that killed a group of Ranger trainees and their notorious Drill Sergeant Nasty. There are only two living witnesses from the group of trainees, both of whom are telling very different stories about what happened. At one point, it's revealed that one of the witnesses was definitely lying and Hardy catches up to the guy as he's about to be flown off the base, grabs the guy, and threatens to shove him into the plane's propeller, then interrogates him mere feet from the propeller blade. Although it turns out to be a subversion, as Hardy and the trainee are actually in cahoots are using the fact that no one else can hear them over the propeller to plan their next move.
  • Played realistically in John Woo's Broken Arrow. A helicopter strapped to a flatbed train car is preparing for takeoff when a mook is knocked up into the path of the rotor blades, resulting in only a large gash in his chest as he is flung thirty or so feet. Notably, this happens while the helicopter is still grounded, so there are no flight issues. Played unrealistically in the same movie, when a flying helicopter decides to kill some other mooks by ramming them with the main rotors. The guy that gets hit is thrown from the train while the chopper isn't inconvenienced in the slightest. An averted third example comes before either early in the film when Riley pulls Terry out of the way of a crashing helicopter's blades. John Woo really liked this and Hellish Copter (since all three helicopter's crash in the film), didn't he.
  • George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978) features a zombie approaching the still-rotating main rotors of a landed helicopter and getting the top of his head chopped off. This was a Chekhov's Gun for the original Downer Ending, where the heroine commits suicide by sticking her own head in the rotors.
  • Deadpool 2: Among the X-Force casualties caused by the unwise skydive in strong winds, there is Shatterstar who lands straight into a helicopter about to take off, resulting in green Ludicrous Gibs all over the place.
  • Death Train: Narrowly subverted when a spy is outed in the middle of a helicopter ride and he accidentally knocks out the pilot. Graham and Carver manage to wake him up right before they crash.
  • Die Hard:
    • Played with in Die Hard with a Vengeance. The Big Bad's helicopter hits a light pole with its main rotor, producing a shower of sparks; however, instead of this causing the rotor to shatter and the helicopter to simply drop a few metres on the ground, the whole thing just blows up for no clearly defined reason.
    • In A Good Day to Die Hard, the tail rotor of the helicopter the bad guys are using winds up being inadvertently used to puree Yuri Komorov, who's knocked off of a building the helicopter was flying near, during a fight with the junior John McClane, in a Disney Death subversion.
  • Averted in Escape to Witch Mountain, in which a helicopter that's flying upside-down lands in a field in that position without so much as clipping the grass with its rotors. It'd be major Artistic License – Physics if long-distance telekinesis weren't actually responsible for keeping it in the air while inverted and for landing the thing safely.
  • In the finale of The Expendables 2 Lee Christmas fights with Hector (the Sangs' Dragon) near the starting chopper. Their punch-up brings them near the tail rotor, after which both start to try to push each other into the blades. Christmas succeeds, breaking the rotor in the process.
  • Done in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The Silver Surfer flies above the place where Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman are having their wedding, disrupting the controls of a nearby press helicopter. It careens wildly and crashes right on the place where the ceremony is being held. As it's skidding, its rotor blades hit the ground and start throwing chairs and other assorted objects in the air. The chopper is then stopped rather unceremoniously by The Thing, who proceeds to rip its tail off. It's a bit less unrealistic, as the helicopter is not deliberately used as a weapon, but the rotor really should have broken up and/or flipped the helicopter over...
  • Holocaust 2000: The new Israeli prime minister is killed when he gets off a plane to hold a press conference by a spinning helicopter blade.
  • In Hot Shots!, the President exits his helicopter and lifts his baseball cap to greet those waiting for him. There's a BZZZZZZ sound before the President puts his now-shredded cap back on.
  • A helicopter crashes at the end of If Looks Could Kill and its rotor blades come off and pursue the hero across a rooftop.
  • Although it violated several other laws of physics, The Italian Job (2003) remake averted this trope. The pilot didn't threaten the main character with his rotor blade, and when he tried to block his mini with his tail-rotor, the mini won. To the helicopter's and the pilot's credit, it didn't immediately spin out and crash, but the damage forced the pilot to land immediately and the Big Bad had to find alternate transport by carjacking someone's truck.
  • James Bond
    • Tomorrow Never Dies has this (and is indeed the Trope Codifier). Everybody's favorite secret agent James Bond finds himself in a large square on a motorbike, with a helicopter leaning forward and trying to blend him (and his female companion). It fails, as they manage to slide under it and motor away, but cuts up plenty of material while trying. The chopper does crash in the end — not due to physics exacting its revenge, but because a heavy rope gets thrown in the blades, tangling them and causing it to lose lift and crash. Because the blades can shred metal, but rope, that's tough!
    • Later averted in The World Is Not Enough, where the helicopter just has several enormous rotary saw blades dangling from a helicopter instead. (It was designed to fly above treetop level and use the rotary saw blades below it to clear branches, and in fact, was seen doing so earlier in the movie. Not only that, but the device is actually a real-life tool, called an "Aerial saw," which is used to trim trees in remote or hard-to-reach locations.)
    • For a third James Bond example, this nearly happened in real life during the filming of From Russia with Love. Sean Connery had a real-life hero moment when a stunt helicopter was coming in too steeply and heading straight for co-star Daniela Bianchi. Connery tackled her out of the way, if he'd been any slower, she would have been decapitated by the rotors. Clearly, he was the right man to play Bond.
  • In the Bruce Willis actioner The Last Boy Scout, the climactic fight with The Dragon, the boss's toughest henchman occurs up in the lights over a crowded football stadium. Inexplicably, in the middle of the fight, a helicopter flies into the stadium and underneath the two men fighting on the highest catwalk, not only endangering those aboard but thousands of football fans directly below them. Why would the chopper pilot do something this insane? Why, so Bruce can kick his opponent off the catwalk and downward into the Helicopter Blender. Take that, bad guy (and all you people sprayed with body bits, and the pilot)!
  • Machete Kills had a lot of fun with this one. First Machete guts Zaror, throwing his intestines into the rotor blades so he's reeled up into them. Then Machete is flying to safety when his helicopter is damaged by mooks in a powerboat. He leaps into the boat then, as the unmanned chopper spins wildly out of control overhead, fires a harpoon into it, attaching the other end to a mook who's pulled into the air and the rotor blades — the mook gets shredded, then blown up with the helicopter. Later improved by Machete by attaching his grappling hook to the rotor and using his machete to decapitate mooks faster than the eye can see.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Captain America: The First Avenger had in this in the climax as Cap is trying to make his way to Red Skull's airship. He hitches a ride on a mook's plane and ends up in a fight with another on it. The one driving it tries to tilt the plane to throw Cap off. Cap manages to hang on and, due to the propeller being on the back of the plane, the poor mook he was fighting against falls right into the blades and turns into instant red mist.
    • Happens again in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this time with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot being knocked into the turbine of a quinjet by The Winter Soldier.
    • In The Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America have to stabilize one of the Helicarier's propellers, and Iron Man has to jump in order to do the repairs. Things go awry and Iron Man winds up getting shredded by the blades; it's a good thing he has his armor on, for if he didn't...
    • Shows up yet again in Captain America: Civil War, when Bucky is temporarily re-brainwashed by Zemo and, when Cap keeps his escape chopper from taking off, he tries to use the still-moving blades to kill him instead. On the bright side, Cap's Plot Armor means this is the first time in his movies that no-one dies of this trope.
  • Near the end of Mission: Impossible, Krieger (Jean Reno) flies a helicopter into a train tunnel (specifically, the one used by the TGV train for crossing the English Channel) and attempts this on Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). The rotors even bounce off the walls with no ill effects (only some pretty sparks). The effect is invoked in the end when the helicopter crashes as the train comes to a stop, leaving one blade, broken to a sharp point from all the previous action, coming to a stop inches from Ethan's neck. Nothing explains the absence of overhead power lines on the railway and over the train though, which would have made the use of a helicopter in this whole sequence even more dangerous for the aircraft and pilot.
  • In the climax of On Deadly Ground, Forrest (Steven Seagal) shoves the Torture Technician, MacGruder, into the rear blades of a helicopter about to take off.
  • In Planet Terror helicopter blades are used to cut through zombies during the film's climax.
  • A similar effect (albeit with the propeller of an experimental flying-wing craft) shredded the Nazi pugilist in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife. One character tries to escape a building surrounded by every zombie in Los Angeles, using a Yak-52 prop plane that's crashlanded on the roof. After the plane goes off the roof it swoops so low over the crowd it leaves a large red smear before pulling up.
  • In Shoot 'Em Up near the end of the skydiving shootout sequence Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) kicks the Lone Man towards a helicopter that just happened to be nearby.
  • The final shootout of Skin Traffik is set in a hangar, where Bradley managed to shotgun a mook backwards into the rear rotor of a helicopter.
  • At the beginning of Spy Kids, at one point a helicopter pursuing the newlyweds beheads a couple of statues as it flies between them.
  • The Suicide Squad: When the first team is ambushed on the beach, Mongal grabs hold of the army helicopter and causes it to slue out of control and through the Corto Maltese army; slicing them to pieces. It them crashes and explodes killing her and Captain Boomerang.
  • Terminal Velocity (1994) ended with the main baddie parachuting on a wind generator. We don't get to see the blending, but the next scene shows one of the blades with blood on it, implying it's killed him. The blade has no damage whatsoever, despite the rather muscular human that slammed on it.
  • An interesting variation appears in Transformers (2007), where Blackout uses his main rotor as a hand weapon. And then they have Lennox using a motorcycle to slide beneath him.
    • Blackout uses the tail rotor as a weapon, the main rotor hangs from his back. He can spread the blades open to look menacing.
  • Underworld: Evolution has the third variant of this trope: a military helicopter is hit and takes a dive down a hole in the ground. The rotor shatters upon hitting said hole's walls, which also keep the helicopter in position, nose-down, after it stops moving. Despite the crash, the impacts, the physical damage and the fact that nobody's at the controls, the engines keep working and the transmission is miraculously still intact. This causes the stumps of the blades to keep rotating, and they promptly blend the Big Bad as the heroine pushes him into them. This seems slightly less unlikely after seeing this. Still, surely a permanent vertical position would make things a lot harder if nothing else for fuel reasons...
  • In Year Of The Comet, the protagonists use a helicopter to chase the villain who is driving a car. The female lead believes that they've got the advantage, to which the male lead says "What do you want me to do, hover him to death?"

  • In the Able Team action/adventure novels (a spin-off of The Executioner series) there's a scene where a group of South American bad guys are terrifying the locals by zooming down at them in their helicopter, pretending to strafe them. One old farmer deliberately runs for a solitary tree knowing that the pilot, flying low and focusing on him, will fly right into it. Fortunately, The Dragon points out the danger in time. In an earlier book 'Gadgets' Schwatz destroys a helicopter machine-gunning his friends by throwing a roll of barbed wire (he's standing on a cliff above it) whereupon the wire gets sucked into the helicopters rotor blades, locking them together and crashing the chopper.
  • Cassie of the Animorphs once tried to deliberately jam up a helicopter's blades with her own transformed-into-a-humpback whale body: a desperate ploy to be sure, but they believed that if Cassie were in the form of a humpback whale, she would survive. And they were correct in predicting that the helicopter wouldn't have survived this attack and that this particular helicopter was so important that it was worth the risk. The helicopter, seeing an enemy coming down towards its propeller, dodged out of the way and so both the helicopter and Cassie were safe. But as luck would have it, an ordinary seagull got caught in its propeller, and this was the end of the threat posed by that helicopter. And the poor seagull.
  • In the Stephen King short story "Battleground", a hitman's fingers are sliced to the bone when he grabs at a fully-functional toy helicopter while fighting a set of military miniatures.
  • Countdown: H Hour: As a self-inflicted injury, a British doctor ran towards a helicopter that landed on the beach to retrieve a critically wounded soldier, only to run into the chopper's tail rotor. As the book put it: "Think: Cuisinart."
  • In a Godzilla novel, a harpooner is turned into a Pink Mist by a helicopter rotor that is torn off by Godzilla during a sea battle with the behemoth.
  • Konrad Knabe describes in his documentary Lapin Lentotiedustelijat (Lapland Reconnaissance Squadron) an incident where the wife of a Dornier 17 pilot waves farewell to his husband too close to the spinning propeller and gets decapitated.
  • In The Memory of Sky, a hovering VTOL aircraft has one of its engines blasted off by a zeppelin's autocannon, causing the propeller to get sheared off from stress and fly straight through the zeppelin's gondola, slicing a technician in half and eviscerating another.
  • Averted in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. A terrorist leader is escaping down the freeway in a Jaguar, and Rainbow's transport helicopter is the only unit available at the moment to follow him. The pilot briefly puzzles over how the hell he's going to stop a car with an unarmed Blackhawk before he decides to just run parallel with the car about 30 meters off the ground while one of his passengers empties his pistol at the car out the side door. The scene even included a moment where the first attempt to shoot the car failed when the chopper had to pull up suddenly to avoid flying into a road sign.
  • Matthew Reilly uses variants of this trope. A mook in Scarecrow tried to drop Mother onto a helicopter while she was hanging out of the side of a skyscraper, but fell through himself. In Temple and Area 7, the rotors of a helicopter on the ground are used as an improvised weapon.
  • In Snow Crash, a weapons specialist develops an unmanned drone nicknamed the Whirlwind Reaper. The name is perfectly descriptive.
  • The novel Tin Man inverts the trope. The hero wears a suit that makes him invulnerable and disables a helicopter by deliberately leaping into the rotors.
  • In the Wild Cards story "Warts and All" from Aces Abroad, Troll dispatches a villain by throwing her into a helicopter's rotors.
  • Appears in Max Brook's World War Z. During a panicked rout, one helicopter pilot tries to cover the retreat (having run out of ammo) by chopping up zombies with the rotors, but he quickly clips a car and crashes. The soldier being interviewed for that chapter calls him a "Brave, beautiful motherfucker."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of ER a careless move during a landing in a blizzard costs Dr. Romano an arm. He gets it back, but not well enough to continue as a surgeon. Then later on in the series, he is killed by that same helicopter crashing down on top of him in a fireball of death.
  • In the first season finale of Fear the Walking Dead, an infected soldier is running around in a panic when the military is evacuating their base as it's overrun by zombies and runs straight into the tail rotor of one of the helicopters waiting to lift off.
  • On Revenge, Conrad pushes Pascal into a helicopter's propellers.
  • The Sopranos: Narrowly subverted, when Furio starts becoming attracted to Tony's wife Carmela. Understanding that an affair with his boss is a really bad idea, he briefly attempts to kill Tony to Murder the Hypotenuse by shoving him into the spinning tail rotor of a helicopter parked on a casino roof when no one's looking, but chickens out and plays it off like he was pulling Tony away from the edge. Furio flees back to Naples after this, but Tony is too drunk to even remember the incident and simply bemoans the sudden loss of a top enforcer.
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day: In the first episode, the Torchwood team narrowly avoids getting blended by the rotor of a helicopter that they just shot down.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the deranged Orks that pilot Deffkoptas take great joy in using the rotor blades of their ramshackle craft to mince enemy troops in combat, laughing raucously as the sharpened propellers removes heads and limbs. The 8th Edition of the game represents this with the spinnin' blades weapon that can make multiple attacks each turn.

    Video Games 
  • Baldies: The player can do this to their own cursor by trying to pick up a helicopter. This obliterates the fingers of their hand cursor, disabling the ability to pick things up until the fingers regrow.
  • In the mobile/Steam versions of Bloons Tower Defense 5 (carried into future games using the unit), the Heli Pilot's 3/x upgrade qualifies as this, as it deals damage to any bloons the Heli Pilot flies over. On the one hand, this is being used to pop balloons. On the other, the most important point of this upgrade is that it allows the helicopter to pop metal balloons (and will be employed to chew through masses of ceramic armor and zeppelin hulls soon enough after).
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has a helicopter being shot down and digging itself into the ground while sliding towards the player and his partner. The latter frantically tries to get away from the blades, which come to a stop just before hitting him. He's still injured in the process, though, and you have to carry him around for the rest of the level.
  • Contra:
    • One of the bosses in Contra: Hard Corps uses this as an attack, complete with sparks flying as it grinds towards the vertical shaft walls. Might be justified in that it's meant to be a versatile killer mecha to begin with, but it's probably more of a question of Rule of Cool being in effect, considering this is Contra we're talking about.
    • The helicopter mini-bosses from Level 2 in Hard Corps: Uprising will occasionally land on either side of the screen and throw their blades at the players.
    • Neo Contra has one even more ridiculous example an aversion to boot - ever seen a man RUNNING on the blade and fighting enemy robots at once?
  • In Dead Rising 3, Nick Ramos kicks General Hemlock into the still spinning blades of a crashed helicopter.
  • In Double Dragon Neon, Skullmageddon deploys a Killacopter to take out the Lee brothers at several points during the game. In Mission 6, after its initial missile barrage fails, the pilot attacks them by turning the chopper upside down so that the blades deal serious damage by shredding everything underneath. Lampshades abound.
  • Far Cry 5 kicks off its plot when a cultist deliberately invokes this trope on himself, launching his body into the rotors of the police helicopter hauling Joseph Seed away. It actually portrays this trope realistically in what would actually happen if you threw 200 pounds of dead weight into the spinning blades of a light utility chopper: It damages the helicopter to the point of losing control and crashing.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, during the battle, Palmer narrowly escapes being beheaded by the Tiny Bronco's propeller and runs away mocking the heroes, only to be run over by an inexplicably and suddenly incoming truck.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City introduced helicopters to the series as a vehicle you could drive, and this trope came as part of the package. It's difficult to pull off in a full-sized rig, but it will kill whoever you manage to hit. Somehow, the RC helicopter can do this, too, which is actually vitally important in the story mission where you use it (it's the only way to take out the armed guards). You know you're living in Vice City when even kids' toys double as a lethal weapon.
    • Hobby-grade radio controlled helicopters are actually quite deadly. You're talking about a machine with a 4hp engine swinging 600mm carbon fiber blades at 2200rpm. Even the small 500 class machines are basically flying lawnmowers with 1500 watt brushless electric motors and 430mm blades that can easily dismember and kill if it hits someone.
    • One of the missions in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ends with both versions of this trope: a police helicopter tilts forward, threatening to slice up the protagonists' vehicle, and a police officer on the hood of said vehicle ends up minced in the process.
    • In Grand Theft Auto IV, helicopter blending is the most popular (if not the only) pastime in online multiplayer. In "Chopper vs. Chopper" mode of The Lost And Damned add-on, this is one of the best ways to kill your opponent.
  • The intro to MX Unleashed shows an unfortunate racer getting KO'd by a helicopter blade, which also brings down the craft it's attached to as well.
  • Half-Life 2:
    • In Ravenholm, there are several makeshift devices that are basically helicopter blenders, without the helicopter. Such a device is just an engine with a scrap-metal blade crudely attached to the drive shaft. It cuts zombies, and you, if you're not careful, in half!
    • From the same game are "manhacks", which are spinning, flying, bladed robots about the size of a football. Their goal is to fly into you and do what their name says. Between their own clumsiness and the knockback from your weapons, they spend a lot of time grinding against concrete walls and other immovable objects, with no apparent ill effect.
  • In Left 4 Dead, the blades of the various escape helicopters aren't instant-kill, but they do deal out a nice chunk of damage, and then very quickly do it again, so odds are it will kill you. Normally this wouldn't concern the Survivors (unless you're playing Low Gravity), but Specials like the high-flying Hunter and Jockey can get chopped up if they aren't careful with their last-ditch attacks.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • In Mega Man 5, the helicopter-based Gyro Man's signature weapon is the Gyro Attack, which lets him (and Mega Man, once he beats him) throw out helicopter rotors like shuriken.
    • The wolverine/kamaitachi-based Hurricaune the Wolveroid has no less than five energy-based helicopter blades, with two on her arms, two on her legs, and one going around her chest and upper back. She can use them both to fly and to slice up her victims.
  • Metal Slug 3 lets you choose a jet or a helicopter as your starting vehicle in its final mission. If you choose the helicopter, you can fly under the soldiers parachuting down, and slice them dead with the rotor.
  • In Mortal Kombat 11, Sonya Blade uses this in a fatality. She calls in a helicopter, flings her opponent into the air, and shoots them repeatedly until they are pushed into the blades and become splattered.
  • An aversion of this concludes Resident Evil 4. After stealing the final sample, Ada jumps off of a platform. Less than five seconds later, a helicopter rises over the platform with Ada in the passenger compartment. Granted, she has a grappling hook able to zip her around quite well, so she could have dropped past it and hooked onto a skid (with a really good pilot and really good timing), but it's double-take worthy. Just accept it as an application of Rule of Cool.
  • Ride to Hell: Retribution has a sequence in which Jake must jump over a helicopter on his motorcycle. Failing to get enough speed results in the inevitable... and causes the helicopter to spin out of control and crash before the Game Over screen pops up.
  • Bystanders in Sim Copter can be killed or injured by the rotary blades while landing. You lose points for doing so unless it's a fleeing criminal.
  • Starting in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, rotary blades on badniks tend to damage Sonic and company if struck. The boss of Hydrocity Zone Act 2 is all about this trope, in fact, as Eggman tries to suck you up into the propeller on the underside of his vehicle. If you play as Tails, this is also how he has to attack Eggman in the Marble Garden Zone.
  • The above is given a callback in Sonic Mania's Hydrocity Zone Act 1: you take control of the vehicle from the original Act 2 and try to suck Eggman into the propeller!
  • One of the missions in the Spider-Man 2 video game features Spidey chasing a copter. While the copter doesn't try to blender you, a few careless swings can result in you crashing into the rotor, which hurts.
  • In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: Baddest of the Bands, this happens to What's Her Face when Strong Bad uses a Limozeen coloring book to create "Teen Girl Squad Meets Limozeen".
  • In Syphon Filter 2, the heavily-armored Final Boss can only be killed by using the knockback from a shotgun to knock him into a handy helicopter's tail rotor. At least this one isn't in the air...
  • Inverted with Yoshimitsu from Tekken and Soulcalibur: He's a cyborg ninja who has a spinning hand and a Laser Katana. In this case, the primary use is combat, flying is just an added benefit.
  • Discussed in Tony Hawk's Underground when the protagonist decides to do a McTwist while jumping over a police helicopter.
    Eric Sparrow: You serious? You miss your ollie and we'll be sending you back to Jersey in a coffee can!
  • You can do this in (at least the DS version) of the Transformers (2007) game of the movie when using a helicopter form, but it only really works on random vehicles driving around, and only damages them a little bit.
    • In the PS2/Xbox-360 versions of the Transformers movie games, Blackout and Grindor use their helicopter rotors as powerful melee weapons, swinging them (folded up) as swords or unfurling them to spin them. As could be expected, these characters do the second-highest melee damage in the games, second only to Megatron, quickly trashing large numbers of the smaller enemies with every swing. (Especially visible during Blackout's boss fight vs Ironhide).
  • A variation in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron in which Bruticus uses Vortex's rotors as a shield. In a Boss Battle as Jazz, he uses them offensively against you.
  • In Urban Chaos: Riot Response, after you shoot some hostage-taking psycho he will fall off the edge of the building and get cut to pieces by the T-Zero helicopter much to the annoyance of the pilot ("Damn it, Mason, I only just got it cleaned!")
  • In Viewtiful Joe, the helicopter mini-bosses use this technique. While it may be tempting to go into slo-mo mode and pound away at the chopper while it's flying, you'll lose valuable VFX power if the blades are spinning and pink.
  • In the Wolverine Origins game, Wolvie's status quo for taking down a helicopter is to pounce on its windshield, punch through it, pull out the pilot, and stuff his head up into the blades.
  • The Flash game, /videoGame/Zombie Choppa, is "made" from this trope. The premise of the game is that the player is a helicopter pilot evacuating civilians during a Zombie Apocalypse, and should any zombies attempt to board the player's chopper, the player will then perform some mid-air maneuvers throwing zombies into the air so they land on the rotors.

    Web Animation 

  • In Achewood, two of the characters argue if helicopter blades either cleanly slice peoples' heads off or causes skull-shattering blunt trauma.
  • Gordon Frohman does this unintentionally to a Combine Gunship with a Combine Soldier uniform in Concerned. Loads of Combine Soldiers are killed after the Gunship lost control when its turbine was wrecked in the blending process. Funnier than it sounds.
  • The thirty-eighth Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff plays this for laughs in a Crosses the Line Twice sense.

    Web Original 
  • In one of the Binder of Shame stories, everyone has derailed the campaign and is on the run from the law. El Disgusto's ninja finds his path blocked by a police helicopter and attempts to jump his motorcycle over it using a crashed police car as a ramp.
    El Disgusto: But my character's a ninja!
    GM: Correction. Your character was a ninja. Now he's confetti, wet red confetti.
  • In their Let's Play of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the Freelance Astronauts lament the inability to pick up hookers while piloting a helicopter. Maxwell tilts the helicopter in the direction of the hooker, and there's nothing left of said hooker except a bright red cloud.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of the The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, the duo is sent on an important mission in a forgotten corner of Central Park. How are they to parachute down through the dense canopy of trees, inquires Max? Simple. That's what the blades are for, says Sam, as the helicopter flips upside down.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Rerun", one of the items in The Void, a dimension where all of the world's mistakes go, is a helicopter with an ejector seat flying out through the windshield and getting sucked into the rotor.
  • An episode of American Dad! has Steve become a Shell-Shocked Veteran after attending a Vietnam War reenactment; at one point, the sight of a spinning lawn sprinkler triggers an Art Shifted flashback where he sees one poor soldier get sliced in half vertically by the propeller flung from a destroyed helicopter.
  • At the end of an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the obnoxious "Wisdom Cube" is floating above the Aqua Teen's house taunting them, and is suddenly shredded by a helicopter which passes by for no reason.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In "Triumvirate of Terror!", Batman uses the blades of his Whirly-Bat to slash the envelope of the Joker's blimp.
  • Big City Greens: In the climax of "Chipocalypse Now", Chip Whistler tries to kill the Greens with a helicopter.
  • In one episode of Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot a robot duplicate of Lt. Hunter gets thrown into the blades of a helicopter while it is preparing to take off from the roof of a skyscraper. The damaged robot is then flung off the building, where the helicopter owner distresses at the mangled helicopter blades, before the robot lands on his car down below.
  • In The Fairly OddParents! episode "Just the Two of Us!", Trixie tries to kill Timmy for dumping her by attempting to shoot him with missiles from a military helicopter. When it turns out that the missiles are sold separately, she tries to shred him with the blades.
  • Family Guy:
    • In an episode, the Peter-Copter crashes on Joe's lawn, and proceeds to shred it apart.
    • Another episode has the drunken pilot for the local news chopper die; the retrospective of his career includes a moment where he blenders several dozen people at a baseball game.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: The episode "Herbicidal Maniac" has Skarr fly through the air and up into a helicopter's blades after his lawnmower blows up:
    Skarr: Phew. It's funny, I had this foreboding feeling I was going to be accidentally mulched. Hmm—AHHHH!!!
  • The first episode of Metalocalypse has the band telling their current helicopter chef that all their previous helicopter chefs have died in freak accidents. Cue an unsettling grinding sound as the chopper goes off-balance and the chef freaks out — then cut to the pilot assuring them that "we're just chewing through a few thousand doves up here; don't worry, the rotors will grind them into paste in no time." Later, the chef is launched out a window upwards into the blades and torn to shreds. He got better... mostly.
    • This is Dethklok's personal transport chopper we're talking about. Whatever ungodly strong material the rotor is made from, it's probably designed to do this kind of thing.
  • An episode of Robot Chicken parodies this trope; a series of quick skits throughout the episode feature a parade of increasingly ridiculous objects falling off a cliff and getting shredded by the rotors of a nearby helicopter; the final skit has the helicopter falling over the cliff and into another helicopter.
  • In The Super Hero Squad Show, the Falcon's pet falcon, Redbird (a Butt-Monkey of epic degree... like Falcon himself) flies out of the SHIELD Helicarrier. An instant after Falcon yells "Watch for the rotors!" we hear the sound of a buzzsaw. Redbird only suffered Amusing Injuries.
  • Many Transformers with helicopter alternate modes can do this, in part because their rotors usually become a sword or blade weapon, and partly because they are the copter and can thus maneuver correctly without falling. Blades of the G1 Protectobots even gets his name because of how fond he is of doing so.
  • An old Yogi Bear cartoon by Hanna-Barbera showed Yogi flying a helicopter upside-down over the treetops, trimming them all to the same height like a lawnmower.

    Real Life 
  • Parachutists getting killed by rotor blades is unfortunately Truth in Television. All skydiving students are always taught to approach the jump plane from the rear. Now and then someone tends to forget it and walks into the spinning propeller, with obvious results.
  • Very sadly Truth in Television in the case of Twilight Zone: The MovieVic Morrow and two child actors were killed rather horribly by a helicopter being used in filming that spun out of control and struck them, due to the director's insistence that the helicopter pilot fly lower and lower, and the fact that he worked the pilot past the point of exhaustion, completely ignoring film industry safety regulations. note  Director John Landis was charged with negligent manslaughter, but eventually acquitted.
  • Boris Sagal, director of The Ωmega Man and Katey Sagal's father died in a similar way; he was nearly decapitated when he walked into the tail rotor blades of a helicopter during the filming of the miniseries World War III.
  • Vietnam-era Huey helicopters had unusually tough rotor blades. Pilots, when called to extract troops from clearings which hadn't been cleared quite well enough, would sometimes use this to their advantages, and essentially chop their way down low enough through the tree branches (though not trunks; bamboo are fair game though) - it's not blending people, but it's still awesome. This is not without drawbacks, though; The impact of chopping would deform the blades, making the return trip harder. Basically, this stunt can be used in a pinch, but not to be used every sortie.
  • Aircraft propellers are generally stronger than helicopter blades, but an intentional application of this trope during World War 2 deserves mention. Two USMC aviators were tasked with intercepting a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft that was spotting for kamikaze attacks, flying 1000 feet above the theoretical maximum altitude of US interceptor aircraft. The guns on the aircraft malfunctioned due to their lubricating oil freezing up so instead, they closed on the aircraft and used their propellers to attack the Japanese aircraft, and forced it down. The pilot credited with the kill, Bob Klingman, lost about 6 inches off each tip of the propeller of his aircraft in the process.
    • This occurred under other circumstances during the War. One Marine fighter pilot during the Battle of Guadalcanal used the propeller of his Wildcat fighter to chop the tail off a Japanese float plane after he ran out of ammunition.
    • The Russians actually had this down to a combat maneuver called the "Taran" ("Ram"). It doesn't necessarily involve chopping the enemy plane with your own propellernote , but it was one of the preferred ways to do it. Naturally, this was a one-time extreme measure for the planes with wooden propellers, but those with the metal ones can actually do it multiple times in a single sortie and be repaired next day — as said above, WWII planes often had wooden extremities that didn't fare well against the hardened aluminum "blenders".
  • Speaking of aircraft propellers, suffice it to say that there's a reason ground crews are expressly forbidden from walking underneath the wings of a multi-engine turboprop while the engines are running. A moment's inattention can be and frequently has been fatal under those circumstances.
  • Again speaking of aircraft propellers, the Internet is chock full of photos and videos of general aviation airfields, where the small plane violence against each other is endemic. Small spaces, tight aprons, dubious competence of many amateur pilots and an often cavalier attitude to safety ensure that a lot of planes end up chopped up by their peers.
  • During the US invasion of Panama, a special operation was mounted to retrieve an American citizen who'd been held in captivity, but the helicopter was shot down and one of his rescuers was struck in the head by the still-rotating blades as they exited. Amazingly, however, he would not only regain consciousness but had the presence of mind to check on the "precious cargo" before leading him to a safer position.
  • During the filming of From Russia with Love, Sean Connery was nearly killed when the helicopter got too close to him.
  • Witness a helicopter almost blending itself! Luckily, military choppers are made to survive light blade strikes... some can actually keep flying if one of five blades is entirely cut off.
  • The Kamov Ka-50 'Black Shark' has ejection seats. To prevent this trope applying to its own crew, it has explosive charges in the rotor hubs to forcibly detach the blades.
  • At one time, aircraft propellers were actually started by a man going up, grabbing a propeller blade, and shoving it down. Many observers were terrified of what might happen. (Compare with the Raiders of the Lost Ark scene.)
    • There is at least one instance of this happening to a dog during the early days of flight. An English pilot was preparing to do a Channel crossing when a dog ran onto the tarmac and in front of the plane as the pilot was throttling up. There was not much left of the unfortunate pooch.
  • There has been at least one fatal incident reported at Dobbins ARB in Georgia. Apparently, during a routine "run-up" test of one of the Blackhawks, where the turbines engines of the helicopter are started and throttled up, but the rotor is prevented from rotating by disconnecting from the turbine shaft, a pilot climbed on top of the helicopter for an inspection. As she did, her copilot below continued to run the throttle, but accidentally began pushing it higher than safety standards allowed. As a result, the rotor shaft suddenly reconnected with the turbine shaft, and the rotors immediately began spinning, catching the pilot on top with them. The results were...less than pleasant.
  • Diverted by helicopters which have intermeshing rotors, such as Kaman HH-43 Huskie. Those helicopters have two parallel sets of rotors, whose blades rotate in synchronicity with the rotor arcs intersecting each other.
  • This accident sounds like something from an episode of Happy Tree Friends, but it really happened:
    The imbalance resulting from the loss of one of only two main-rotor blades shook the helicopter violently. The main-rotor transmission tilted forward, port, aft, and starboard as the top of the mast was pulled away from its centre of rotation. The tube-frame main structure was deformed and broken, and the aft cabin fire wall was deformed forward. The deformation of the cabin fire wall allowed the pilot restraint system to loosen, and the pilot's body was ejected through the windshield into the path of the remaining main-rotor blade.
  • The Soviet Mi-24 "Hind" helicopter is somewhat infamous for its tendency to chop its own tail off with its rotor if it makes too tight of a turn at high speed.
  • Always a danger for service crew working around helicopters. One unlucky member of the Israeli Airforce in the early 2000's witnessed a female soldier walking straight into a rear rotor, resulting in deadly head trauma.


Video Example(s):


Ejecting to your own death

In this clip from Death Battle's spinoff show, Death Race, James Bond manages to escape his exploding Aston Martin DB5 via his car's eject feature... just to be ejected right into a helicopter's blade and hence get blended into a bloody mist.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / HoistByHisOwnPetard

Media sources: